School is letting out for a few months; dads are firing up the bar-be-cues; pools, lakes and beaches will be packed with families celebrating warm days together. It’s the unofficial kick-off to summer…and it’s Memorial Day Weekend.
Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. However, by the turn of the 20th century, Memorial Day celebrated Americans who have sacrificed their lives in all wars. The holiday also typically marks the start of the summer vacation season.
Some of your favorite country artists talk about their favorite summertime activities – besides traveling around and performing for fans – as well as what it means to be free because of the brave men and women willing to fight and sacrifice for our freedom.
AUDIO: Dierks Bentley, whose own father was a World War II veteran, talks about the sacrifices made by U.S. servicemen and women.
Dierks (Memorial Day) OC: …upon them. :37
“On the most basic level, I think, for me on the road, I just think about being gone two, three days at a time, maybe a couple of weeks at a time, you know. That seems like a long time when you have kids and family, but these soldiers, they’re gone for months and years at a time – they’re doing 12 to 15 to 18 months — and they have family back home. That, in itself, is such a huge sacrifice, and that’s just the beginning of it. That’s just scratching the surface of what these guys [and gals] are doing every day – preparing for battle, actually being in battle, being wounded in battle, sometimes dying in battle. So, this country obviously, we would not exist without those courageous men and women, and our future depends upon them.”
AUDIO: Eric Church talks about the freedoms he’s able to enjoy because of those fighting for our right to be free.
Eric Church (Memorial Day) OC: …those freedoms.
AUDIO: Josh Turner talks about his boat, which will most likely be on the water when he’s not on the road this summer.
Josh Turner (Summer) OC: …just ride. :12
“I have a nice boat that I got a couple of years ago. I have it set up for saltwater and fresh water. I’m not much of a water skier, my legs are too skinny for that, but I just try to tube and have fun and just ride.”
AUDIO: Keith Urban wrote and recorded last year’s hit, “For You,” for the film, Act of Valor, which was inspired by real life events and stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs. After hanging out with the SEALS, he was very impressed with their commitment of service.
Keith Urban (SEALS mantra) OC: …conviction. :30
“They have a mantra, and they say ‘the only easy day was yesterday’ and they had this spirit of brotherhood and that’s a particular thing that’s the way in which, I think, it exists is very specific to the Seals. I mean, military in general have this very strong brotherhood code; it’s a particular kind of thing in the Seals. As was the testament, to Lt. Roark who is the lead guy in the film; when he was interviewed and talked about funerals he had been to, and he says ‘There isn’t really any one of us who isn’t just a little bit jealous of the guy who’s died,’ and ok, I heard that, that’s a particular way of being that I cannot relate to. That is an unbelievable depth of commitment and conviction.”
AUDIO: Kelleigh Bannen says she’s very thankful for our men and women in uniform.
Kelleigh Bannen (Memorial Day) OC: …our families. :10
“I am so thankful for our men and women in uniform, and it is their sacrifice and them putting their lives on the line that allow us to be able to celebrate with our families.”
AUDIO: Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild says they’re overwhelmed by the huge sacrifices that both the military and their families make in order to be free.
LBT (Memorial Day) OC: …whenever we can. :44
KAREN: “It’s such a huge sacrifice what these men and women do for us, not only the ones that are serving, but the families that are left here at home. Kimberly and I met a young girl…she’s 21 years old, and she has a third baby, and her husband has served multiple times overseas. She’s raising these children at home and doing a great job and the best that she can, and he’s serving our country. He’s making a monstrous sacrifice, but so is she, and so are those children. And we just can’t take it for granted. I mean, it’s just a huge commitment that they make, and what an honor. We love to be able to sing for them and entertain them and to say thank you whenever we can.”
AUDIO: While Luke Bryan’s on the road with his Dirt Road Diaries Tour this summer, he’s going to check out some places where he can catch up on his favorite summer pastime – fly-fishing.
Luke Bryan (favorite summer activities) OC: …the family. :10
“My favorite summer activity is definitely the opportunity to go fly-fishing out West when I’m out there touring, or really, just fly-fishing anytime…and obviously, getting a week off down at the beach with the family.”